Journal of Epidemiology
Online ISSN : 1349-9092
Print ISSN : 0917-5040
ISSN-L : 0917-5040
Original Article
Longitudinal Trends in Blood Pressure Associated With the Frequency of Laughter: The Circulatory Risk in Communities Study (CIRCS), a Longitudinal Study of the Japanese General Population
Satomi IkedaAi IkedaKazumasa YamagishiMiyuki HoriSachimi KuboMizuki SataChika OkadaMitsumasa UmesawaTomoko SankaiAkihiko KitamuraMasahiko KiyamaTetsuya OhiraTakeshi TanigawaHiroyasu Iso
Author information
Supplementary material

2021 Volume 31 Issue 2 Pages 125-131


Background: The frequency of laughter has been associated with cardiovascular disease and related biomarkers, but no previous studies have examined association between laughter and changes in blood pressure levels. We sought to identify temporal relationships between frequency of laughter in daily life and systolic and diastolic blood pressure changes in participants from 2010 through 2014.

Methods: Participants were 554 men and 887 women aged 40–74 years who answered self-administered questionnaire quantifying frequency of laughter at baseline. We measured participant blood pressure levels twice using automated sphygmomanometers for each year from 2010 to 2014. The associations between laughter and changes in blood pressure over time were analyzed using linear mixed-effect models.

Results: There was no significant difference in blood pressure according to frequency of laughter at baseline in either sex. Men with frequency of laughter 1 to 3 per month or almost never had significantly increased systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels over the 4-year period (time-dependent difference: 0.96 mm Hg (95% confidence interval [CI], −0.2 to 1.8; P = 0.05). Changes in blood pressure associated with infrequent laughter (ie, 1 to 3 per month or almost never) were evident in men without antihypertensive medication use over 4 years (0.94 mm Hg; 95% CI, −0.2 to 2.0; P = 0.09) and men who were current drinkers at baseline (1.29 mm Hg; 95% CI, −0.1 to 2.3; P = 0.04). No significant difference was found between frequency of laughter and systolic (0.23 mm Hg; 95% CI, −1.0 to 1.5; P = 0.72) and diastolic (−0.07 mm Hg; 95% CI, −0.8 to 0.7; P = 0.86) blood pressure changes in women.

Conclusions: Infrequent laughter was associated with long-term blood pressure increment among middle-aged men.

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© 2020 Satomi Ikeda et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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